Huang, P. & Lamm, A. J. (2017). Impacts of personal experience: Informing water conservation extension education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(3), 37-55.


Extension educators have diligently educated the general public about water conservation. Incorporating audiences’ personal experience into educational programming is recommended as an approach to effectively enhance audiences’ adoption of water conservation practices. To ensure the impact on the audiences and environment, understanding the differences in issues audiences are concerned and audiences’ behavioral pattern is needed. This study examined the regional differences in how U.S. residents’ experiences with water issues related to their engagement and intention to engage in water conservation in order to facilitate the development of Extension educational programming in different regions. An online survey was administered to collect responses from U.S. residents in this descriptive and correlational study. Respondents’ water issues experience, water use behaviors, water conservation practice application, and willingness to act on water conservation were measured. Regional differences in how experience were associated with water use behaviors, water conservation practices application, and willingness to act were found. Extension educators should be aware of such regional differences when developing water conservation educational programs and provide recommendations tailored to regional audiences’ needs and interests. By doing so, audiences’ adoption of water conservation practices is expected to increase.

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